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Rick Hansen: In memory of Terry Fox

They said it couldn't be done, but Rick Hansen defied all the odds. The long, gruelling hours. Bitter cold and oppressive humidity. The numbing pain that shot through his arms and shoulders at the end of the day. But nothing stopped Hansen as he circled the world in his wheelchair for over two years to raise awareness and money for spinal cord research. And even when the tour was over he kept going, a man in perpetual motion.

Months after the death of Terry Fox, Canadians across the country walk, jog and run in the first annual Terry Fox Run to raise money for cancer research. In Fox's hometown of Port Coquitlam, B.C., his neighbours, colleagues and friends run along the same route where he trained for weeks before beginning his Marathon of Hope. In this CBC Television clip, The National talks to wheelchair athlete Rick Hansen, a close friend of Fox's.
. Rick Hansen was born Aug. 26, 1957, in Port Alberni, B.C., where he was a star athlete in high school. He became a paraplegic in 1973 when he was involved in a car accident, breaking his back and losing the use of his legs. Although in a wheelchair, he was determined to live a full life, and earned an undergraduate degree in physical education from the Univeristy of British Columbia, and continued to train and play sports.

. In 1980, Hansen was named Outstanding Athlete of the Year by the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association, and won the Lou Marsh Award as Canada's most outstanding athlete in 1983. He shared the award with Wayne Gretzky.

. Hansen competed in wheelchair competitions, winning 19 international marathons and the World Wheelchair Championships on four occasions. He placed second at the 1983 Boston Marathon in the wheelchair division and represented Canada at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, where he competed in the finals of the 1500-metre wheelchair race. He also competed in team sports, winning Canadian titles in wheelchair volleyball and basketball.

. The Terry Fox Run is an annual event held in September to help raise funds for cancer research. The first Terry Fox Run -- documented in this clip -- drew over 300,000 participants across Canada and raised $3.5 million. As of 2003, the Run has raised over $300 million.
. Terry Fox and Rick Hansen were friends who met while playing on the same wheelchair basketball team in British Columbia. It was Fox's Marathon of Hope that inspired Hansen to embark on his Man In Motion World Tour in 1985.
Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Sept. 13, 1981
Guest(s): Rick Hansen, Orissa Peyman
Reporter: Sue Stern
Duration: 1:35

Last updated: March 19, 2013

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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